Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Behind Every Great Man Is An Even Greater Woman...


...or so the saying goes, anyway. Yup, it's me back again with the promised second Winston-related article. I know, I know, you've been waiting so long that you doubted it would ever come. But fear not, for here we are with the promised article. Now, as people often declare after a long night of drinking 'we wouldn't get anything done in this world without women' (well, I say people, the majority being women), and often the more educated of them cite Clementine Churchill as an example of this. A few weeks ago, while at the ever-wonderful grandparents, we tuned in to a documentary focused on Winston and Clementine's relationship, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw, and left with my love for Winston reinforced tenfold, with a special little place now dedicated to Clementine. You see, it's no great secret that Winston messed up quite a lot of stuff during, but especially before, his time in office. But during these times it was Clementine, his 'Cat' who he spoke to and found comfort from, and it was Clementine who advised him on top-secret and incredibly important government affairs, though I also like to think that they shared a good laugh at the expense of some of Churchill's rivals. The documentary itself featured an abundance of the letters between them, and I was honestly blown away by the relationship between them. In the letters, Winston seems affectionate and almost 'soft' - a far cry from the maverick hero he is known as, and Clementine seems very compassionate and doesn't show any sign of strain from quite literally having the world put onto her shoulders. 

To fully address her would be to get your lips around 'Baroness Clementine Ogilvy Spencer-Churchill', which is something I never have and never will intend to do, and she was born on 1st April 1885, marrying Winston in 1908. Possibly bitter about her own moniker, she named two of her four children the unforgettable Randolph, and (my favorite), Marigold. Fantastic. She had known Winston for four years, but they grew apart before becoming re-acquainted at a dinner party, at which Churchill fell wholeheartedly in love with her it seems, and so they did not experience a long courtship before Winston sent a letter to Clementine's Mother, asking for her hand in marriage.

I could bang on for ages in true 'teenager-girl' style about how romantic it all is, and the whole 'love-at-first-sight' thing, but (to be honest) I find that boring. And I don't do boring. I like my historical women ballsy. More Hermione Granger than Bella Swan. And that is exactly why I may be boring you now about Clementine. In the first world war, she organised canteens for munitions workers. After hearing Winston's policies snubbed whilst on holiday, she packed her bags and left, offended deeply. She then helped numerous charities throughout the war, all the while with her husband off in the afore-mentioned war rooms, deciding the fate of the country. That it what, to me, makes her a brilliant woman. Instead of 'languishing', as has so often been the fashion for women who's husbands are away, she did something. Some will argue not much, but she did something.

So there you are. A rambling article about Clementine Churchill for you to feast on. I'll be back soon, with more about my beloved Winston. 
E.C


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